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Windows 7: Cassette tapes to CD

07 Feb 2016   #1
johnr9q

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 
Cassette tapes to CD

I got all my reel to reel tapes on CD now using Windows Sound Recorder. Now I want to transfer my cassette tapes to CD. I hooked my old cassette deck to the computer just like I hooked up the reel to reel. I try to record the sound on my computer using Windows Sound Recorder and get nothing. When I hook headphones into the output of the cassette deck I can hardly hear the sound. I cleaned the record head and tried a number of tapes and the end result was the same. I would think that Sound Recorder would be able to pick up the weak signal but it doesn't. Is my Cassette deck bad? When I put my headphones inline with my reel to reel output I got plenty of volume.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2016   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Sounds like just a low level output from the tape deck. A small external preamp would probably take care of it.

PC sound card inputs are designed for a relatively high signal level (what is called "line level" in the music industry) and too low will not work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #3
johnr9q

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

fireberd: Thanks. I was able to solve the problem. I learned that Line Level is a weak signal and can't drive headphones. (I don't know why the head phones worked when I hooked up my Reel To Reel the same way however. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the output connectors on the reel to reel are 6.5mm and on the Cassette deck they are RCA?) But I went into the "Sound Recorder" and increased the input volume and now everything works great. Next question: Where do I hook my earphones so I can monitor what I am recording. (I guess I could use the line out of the cassette deck but it is difficult to hear) I tried the Headphone and mic connectors on the front of my tower and also the Center/subwoofer connector on the rear of my tower and get nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2016   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Line Level is NOT a "weak" signal. Line Level is a high signal level (750 MV or 0DB). A standard P.A. style microphone or the output level of an electric guitar, which is "instrument level" is around 1.5 to 3MV. The 1/4" or RCA connectors should not make any difference either.


I don't remember, from the other post, whether or not you have "Stereo Mix". If you have Stereo Mix and use that as the default recording device you should be able to hear the input on the PC speakers and/or Headphone jack.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #5
johnr9q

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

fireberd: Why then, when I plug my ear buds directly into the output on my Cassette deck, is it so difficult to hear anything yet when I use Windows "Sound Recorder it records fine?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #6
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Because the PC's sound card is amplifying the low level signal to a useable level to record, but the output sound level is insufficient (not designed) to drive headphones/earbuds, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I had to purchase an external usb SoundBlaster XF[?] HD soundcard to get "quality in/quality out,"
whatever was received by the soundcard was made into a WAV file, with no loss or degradation.
And, I am still unable to monitor as I record.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #8
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

If you are using a separate sound card, first thing disable the built in sound card, preferably in the BIOS so there are no conflicts. SoundBlaster calls stereo mix "What You Hear". Its the same thing just called a different name.

Unless you have connected the front panel headphone/mic jacks to the SoundBlaster card, you won't hear anything. The front panel headphone/mic jack connector can be labeled "HDAudio" or "AC97" (but ACER may or may not have it labeled). The SoundBlaster should have a jack for the connection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #9
johnr9q

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

fireberd You said: "Line Level is a high signal level (750 MV or 0DB)" Why then isn't it powerful enough to power my ear buds? Are "high signal level" and power two different things?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2016   #10
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Generally, a headphone output is a low impedance output and may be rated in watts (power). An output designed for a preamp usually will not drive headphones. You can use a headphone output to feed a preamp, PC sound card, etc, but in most cases the low level (or even Line level) is not enough to feed a headphone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cassette tapes to CD




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